tv News Nation MSNBC January 28, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PST
to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills. ♪ yup. another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap. hi, everyone, i'm tamron hall. we're following developing news.
less than seven hours until president obama delivers his fifth state of the union address, in what could be his final chance to set the agend for what he wants to accomplish in his final years. one official tells "the hill," he has one shot here, and he can't afford to miss it. the question, the big one, anyway, now is how far will the president go? we're learning the president will announce an executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal workers on new government contracts to $10.10 an hour. he will also call on congress to do their part and raise the federal minimum wage for all workers, a move that tea party republican congressmen steve king calls a constitutional violation. >> i think that it's a constitutional violation. we have a minimum wage. congress has set it. for the president to simply declare, i'm going to change this law that congress has passed is unconstitutional.
>> now, while house speaker john boehner was not as strong in his remarks this morning, he did suggest the president shouldn't expect congress to get on board with his call to raise the minimum wage. >> i suspect the president has the authority to raise the minimum wage for those dealing with federal contracts. i think the question is, how many people, mr. president, will this executive action actually help? i suspect the answer is somewhere close to zero. >> but house democrats are standing behind the president's use of executive action. >> when the president says that, he's going to try to work with congress to increase the minimum wage, to $10.10 an hour, we're with him. and when he says, well, if congress doesn't want to act, if we have folks who are in shutdown mode or want to be obstacles to that, then he'll take action where he can as the executive. >> meanwhile, the white house released a new clip giving a behind-the-scenes look of how
the president and his team are preparing for tonight and the final touches to the speech. and joining me now, democratic congresswoman linda sanchez of california, and simone sannier jiang who works as a cashier at mcdonald's. thank you for joining his. congresswoman sanchez, let me start with speaker boehner's remarks. he went on to say, that, quote, we know from minimum wage raises in the past, hundreds of thousands of low-income workers have lost their jobs, he claims. the very people the president says he'll help, meaning african-americans and hispanics, will not be helped. he says it's bad policy. your reaction to that? >> it's completely false what he's saying. it's very obvious through economic studies that have been done that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for low-wage workers across the country would inject our economy with $22 billion in economic activity. that is, when these folks have a little additional money in their pocket to spend, they're going to spend it, and it will create
an estimated 85,000 new jobs in this country. folks that just want to obstruct any ability for people to have an opportunity to pull themselves out of poverty will find any convenient excuse, even if it's one that's not factually based, and unfortunately, i think that's what the gop is doing. they're just looking for excuses not to work with the president on a fundamental issue that by a margin of four to one, all americans support regardless of what their political party is. >> congresswoman, to your point, i mean, you've got this new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll on minimum wage, 51% of americans say it should be an absolute priority this year. we know that congressional approval is at 13%, just 13% of the people believe congress is doing a good job here. why do you believe the republican party has been so steadfast against raising the minimum wage, so much so you've
got tea party congressman king -- steve king -- saying it is a violation of the constitution that the president would like to see an increase for federal workers? >> yeah, i don't understand the rationale. i don't think that steve king is a constitutional law scholar. i could be wrong on that. but it's -- i don't understand if they just ignore what the economic reality for hundreds of thousands of americans is, or whether they just don't care. but it's clear economically the gap between those that are making it and those that aren't is growing. people are concerned about the economic stability. they don't know if they're going to have a job. and we see a gop that's completely tone-deaf to the needs of real americans. they want to cut s.n.a.p. funding, funding for families food-insecure, and talking about a country as great as ours where one in five families is food-insecure. that's almost criminal. you're talking about a g gop-controlled house that
doesn't want a vote on extending emergency unemployment benefits, that 1.3 million people rely on while they're actively searching for work. >> right. >> i don't understand what their reasoning is. >> simone, let me bring you in. you're a cashier at mcdonald's. here are you standing with congresswoman sanchez. you're hearing the opposition from the other side, but in reality, they are talking about people like you, people who are trying to make ends meet as best you can, i assume, and they are not -- when you hear this debate over minimum wage and folks talk about you and other workers who are trying to get a few more dollars, as if you're these foreign creatures that they don't get -- how does that make you feel? >> it doesn't upset me per se, but it does make me feel like their oblivious to the lives of others. it makes me feel like they don't have compassion toward their fellow man. it does slightly upset me, but mostly just like their
oblivious. >> and i see -- i see your reluctance in saying that it upsets you, because people don't want to appear that they're angry. this is something to, i think, be fighting mad about if you are the worker who is showing up, and you see the company you're working for, and you watch the news, i imagine, bringing in profits. but you feel that you are being left behind here. >> yes, the company does make a lot of money. it spends a lot on advertising, but workers still qualify for food stamps and other government programs, which is actually taking money away from taxpay s taxpayers. that's kind of harming the economy rather than bettering it, by then not paying their workers what they should pay. >> and when you hear just that most americans support the idea of the minimum wage increase, but there is still a divide, how do you process that? do you feel that perhaps your
voice and those of others are being heard, but maybe not to those lawmakers who appear tone-deaf to it? >> everyone has their own reason for being for or opposing something, and i just feel like whatever their reason may be, i hope their compassion for others will soon overtake that, and they will kind of look out for others, look out more man as a whole, look out for the economy. and just be there to help other people versus fighting for something that's hurting others. >> -- i know it's tough, simone. i appreciate you coming in. this is not the job you go to every day. we appreciate you joining us. thank you, congresswoman sanchez, as well, and we'll hear more what the president has to say on this tonight. thank you, both. >> thank you. >> let me bring in "washington post" columnist eugene robinson and syria's michael smerconish,
and i imagine as a worker, you get up every day, you know what you're signing up for, but to want a living wage, to want an increase in a minimum wage, it seems that this debate would be easily resolved if you'd just look at, for example, the polling from the average americans out there. many of which make more than minimum wage, but feel compassion for those who can't make it on these -- on this amount of money. >> well, i think the challenge for the president is that while you're right, overwhelmingly americans believe she should be being paid a fair wage, i saw in that nbc news/"wall street journal" survey that 75% say the debt needs to be an absolute priority. so the president needs to be able to explain how this is going to be paid for at the same time. >> well, i mean, i guess when you look at some of the numbers out, eugene, a couple of articles said, for example, if we're going to focus on the fast-food industry specifically, since they've had protests in over 100 cities, if the math is
right with some of the reporting, it would bring the price of a burger up a few bucks to pay someone a living wage. that has nothing to do with the debt conversation. >> yeah, i think it's -- when we're talking about the federal minimum wage zsh yes. >> -- i think michael was talking about that, and the cost to the treasury. >> yes. >> of course, if you're talking about mcdonald's and burger king, no. it's a matter of who wants to buy burgers. you know, there's a conservative economic philosophy that doesn't believe there should ab minimum wage at all. i don't agree with that. but i think people who are so against raising the minimum wage to a living standard ought to just come out and say that they just philosophically don't think there should be a minimum wage, that people should be paid whatever they can negotiate with their employers, and that that's the way capitalism should work. you know, i think there should be a minimum wage, and if you think there should be one, then it should be a living wage. it doesn't make sense otherwise. >> and moving past just this issue of the minimum wage,
michael, you and i have talked a lot about immigration, to your point the other issues that are a priority to americans, and you've got john favreau, the former speech writer tore the president, talking about the speech today, saying even when presidents make a strong case for a particular piece of legislation, there's little evidence that rhetorical persuasion leads to congressional action, after all it's not as if house republicans have been waiting for just the right words from barack obama in order to finally move on immigration reform that both parties in the senate have already voted for. senator coburn was on "morning joe" and he basically said americans are not paying attention to the president, and they won't pay attention to the responses, either. what is your thought on that, michael? >> my thought is that the president has to strike a balance tonight. he needs to acknowledge that, of course, there's a lot of work that remains to be done. but, tamron, i took a look at a "the new york times" story today that had in it economic data, hard data, about the unemployment rate, about the size of the deficit, about home
starts. a lot of good, tangible information that shows there's been enormous progress made since 2008 and 2009, and i don't think the president has been an effective salesman for himself in taking credit for all of the strides that have been made to date. frankly, i think he should do that while acknowledging we've still got a way to go. >> and, mike, i'm sorry, eugene, we have this threat, or what the republicans is a threat of executive action from the president. he, obviously, believes this is necessary action if nothing is going to be accomplished in congress. john boehner off the camera remarks today, at his annual state of the union group breakfast meeting, said, this idea that he's just going to go it alone, going to have to remind him that we do have a constitution and the congress writes the laws. the president's job is to execute the laws faithfully, and if he tries to ignore this, he's going to run into a brick wall. you've written about the executive action or executive powers, where the president can
best use them, and you bring up the issue, for example, of climate and some of the things that need to be done there. >> yeah, exactly. and, look, all presidents have used executive action. some a whole lot more than president obama has, or a whole lot more than president obama is contemplating. so, look, he's in a position where if, in fact, the republican majority in the house will not cooperate with him on anything, i wonder what choice he has? now, so obviously he has to lay out the case tonight, but i think on crucial issues where he really believes we need to move forward, i don't see what choice the president has if we are going to make progress, but to use executive action when he can. he has already ruled out using executive action in some areas where perhaps he could technically, but he thinks it's just a political bridge too far. so he said he's not going to do
comprehensive immigration reform through executive action. >> right. and, michael, lastly, this nbc news/"wall street journal" poll, one of the questions and answers, i should say, getting a lot of attention, where you believe the country is compared to when obama became president. 68% believe, according to this poll, we are worse off or the same place. your reaction to that number. >> okay, so the dow at the end of 2008 was at 8,776. the dow today is at 15,837. i don't understand the pessimism. again, i'm not sugar coating the way things are, but there's a tremendous amount of financial data out there suggestive that the right things are being done. he needs to make that case. >> and do you believe that -- and i brought this up earlier in a conversation -- the housing market, for example, where it was in 2008 and the recovery that we're seeing in states that were hit very hard, you bring up the unemployment number, that it's down, and people will say, that's because people are no
longer looking for work, and you have this back-and-forth. but to your point, understanding why there is such, i guess, rejection of some of the progress, is it that wall street is succeeding and people still believe that main street is being left behind, michael? >> well, see, that might be a reason why the white house doesn't want to make this case, because they're fearful that the reaction will be only those in the upper percentile are making it. you know, the stock market impacts a lot of folks' 401(k)s than just people in the 1%. >> yeah, that's so true. michael, thank you. eugene, great to see you, haven't seen you in a while. thank you. tune in tonight starting at 9:00 p.m. eastern for msnbc's special prime-time coverage of the state of the union address. we'll talk more about it. still ahead, the southern shutdown. a massive ice and snowstorm impacting 40 million people in the south, closing in right now. some of the worst weather in a generation now bearing down. we've got some live new pictures in for you. plus, an indictment against a north carolina police officer
who killed and unarmed former college athlete whose family says he was simply looking for help after a car accident. now, this all comes just one week after another grand jury declined to pursue charges. we'll get you an update. and you can join our conversation on twitter. you can find me @tamronhall, my team @newsnation. it says here that a woman's sex drive increases at the age of 80. helps reduce the risk of heart disease. keep heart-healthy. live long.
we are following developing weather story from the deep south. these are pictures from alexandria, louisiana, where there's already an inch of snow on the ground in louisiana. it is just beginning. this once-in-a-generation storm affecting about 39 million people, from texas to carolina coast. louisiana has declared a state
of emergency today, and is urging people to stay off the roads over the next few days. this storm is bringing, as you've probably heard by now, snow, freezing rain and certainly dangerous ice to parts of the country not used to severe winter weather. meanwhile, the midwest and northeast continue to feel the grip of subzero temperatures as the national propane shortage reaches critical levels. in minneapolis today, wind chills are expected to reach 50 degrees below zero. wind chill warnings and advisories are in place all the way from montana to maine. and more than 3,000 flights have been cancelled today, a majority of the cancellations from atlanta's hartsfield-jackson and houston's george bush intercontinental airport, and gabe gutierrez is in columbia, south carolina. it looks a little better, the rides behind you, than what we're seeing right now in parts of louisiana. but this is another bad few days here, gabe. >> reporter: that's right, tamron. the roads are doing fine so far,
in the past few minutes we've started to see the first precipitation of the day. a little bit of rain, and we expect sleet over the next couple of hours turning into snow later this evening. and emergency officials here in columbia, south carolina, are watching this very closely. people here just aren't used to this type of weather. they've got their emergency operations center ready to go, and they have all nine of their snowplows ready to go, here in columbia, south carolina. they just have a few of them. they also get a few -- a little bit of help from the state, as well. but when you compare that to northern cities like new york city, more than 2,400 plows, hundreds of plows in other major cities. here in south carolina, they're not just used to this. and also, hardware stores are seeing a lot of business right now. they're selling out of a lot of materials -- portable space heaters, makeshift snow shovels, and, also, there's not really many stores that sell sleds here in the south. so they're also selling out of plastic garbage can lids, people plan to use them as sleds. right now, as you can see behind me, the roads are doing fine.
we expect the weather to creep in here over the next few hours. still about 30 -- in the mid-30s right now. we expect that to drop later this evening. tamron? >> all right, gabe. kay parker is in savannah, georgia, where some schools are closed today. kate, again, we're seeing chilly temperatures there, but not a lot of ice behind you, as we're seeing right now in louisiana. >> reporter: right. we don't have that ice just quite yet. in fact, the rain has really just been off-and-on very light precipitation here so far today. that is going to change. in fact, we're going to see that rain pick up first. a very cold rain, current air temperatures only about 40 degrees. but as soon as it starts raining, we're going to very quickly drop down into the 30s, and then we're going to see that transition into freezing rain. that's the dangerous stuff. that's later tonight, well after sunset, and overnight. so when folks wake up tomorrow morning, they could be seeing a lot of frozen precipitation on the ground. we are under a winter storm warning here in savannah, georgia, until 5:00 p.m. i am in foreseth park, and you
see the spanish moss, but these trees are 70, 80 years old, and the branches, they're pretty heavy. if we get enough ice accumulation, they could fall down on power lines, and we could be looking at massive power outages here in savannah, georgia, from winter storm -- from this winter storm, which is highly unusual. >> right. >> reporter: so doing the best to prepare, as they can here. not official word on all schools for tomorrow, but at least some are already cancelling classes for wednesday. >> all right, kate, thank you very much. and still ahead on "newsnation," -- >> what the president will do tonight is set forth very specific concrete proposals that he thinks will move our country forward, create opportunity for hard-working americans. >> that, of course, is white house senior advisor valerie jarrett, previewing the president's state of the union speech. we'll talk to politico's roger simon about whether he agrees with those who call it a make-or-break moment for the president's second-term agenda. there's now word that one of the members of the duck dynasty family will also be at the state
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speeds relief to these eight symptoms. [ breath of relief ] thanks. [ male announcer ] you're welcome. ready? go. tonight, let's declare that the nation's wealthiest earth, no one should have to live in poverty and raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour. the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform. now's the time to do it. now's the time to get it done. americans who believe in the second amendment have come together around common sense reform, like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. senators -- >> those were some of the goals president obama set in last year's state of the union address. the president was not able to achieve them amid the gridlock in congress. meantime, ahead of tonight's address, a headline in politico today asks, how far will
president obama go in dealing with congress? the article goes on to say, his address will reveal whether obama is serious about testing the limits of his executive powers, or content with using them as a threat. and joining me live, politico's chief political columnist roger simon. roger, how do you answer that? is the president prepared to go to the limit? >> i think he is. i think he's already done executive actions before. he did some on immigration. he did a small amount on guns. but i expect his speech tonight to pressure republicans in a different way than just threatening executive action. i think along with the grandiose plans, along with the great rhetoric, the president is the best political speaker in america today, but along with that he's got to give americans a reason to vote democratic in november. >> and it -- go ahead, i'm
sorry. >> no, he's got to tell them, look, we've got obamacare. it's not perfect. it's working better every day. it protects you -- it will save you money. but if you elect a republican senate along with a republican house, that's going to go away. a lot of stuff is going to get repealed. you know, there's nothing i'm going to be able to do for you. and i think it's going to be a more partisan state of the union speech than many are expecting for that reason. >> and that's an interesting point you make, because we know that right now there are four republican responses, roger. the official is coming from kra cathy mcmorris rodgers, the official response, but senator mike lee of utah is giving the tea party, and rand paul will give his own prerecorded address
and i think to your point, the esident outlining his policies, but with a follow-up of true action, how he plans to move past congress, even with these four individual responses, because they also have the burden of coming back after the president's speech and saying, here's why we are against minimum wage and your life would be better because of it. here's why immigration reform is not the way to go, if that is the particular response, for example, mike lee here. but they also have a great amount of pressure to do more than just talk, which we certainly heard our fair share of as americans from both sides, quite honestly. >> yeah, you're right. but it is not a good sign for the republicans if they have four responses. that means they are not speaking with one unified voice. >> right. >> and i doubt very much that each of the four speakers are going to have a chance to vet and change the other speakers' speeches, so they all come out
together with one plan. >> and so, your point, with the republican party clearly divided just in those four responses, this is an opportunity for this president and the democrats, as you mentioned, in the midterms? >> it is. the president has to win on the facts, let's be honest. when he was running against hillary clinton, hillary clinton said in 2008, you know, you campaign with poetry, but you govern with prose. and it's a long, hard slog. and the president needs to make his case once again that raising the minimum wage is good for everybody. it allows people to buy things. things from wealthy manufacturers, too. >> right. >> he's got to make his case for gun control. he has to make his case for immigration. but then he has to say, maybe not quite as plainly as this, i can't shake hands with someone who has a closed fist. if the democrats -- if the republicans in the house simply
want me to fail, then i'm going to have to try to succeed on my own. >> on my own. and just quickly before i get you out of here, i have to ask you, "the duck dynasty" family will be in the house. willie robertson, one of the sons of phil, who made those controversial comments in "gq" that caused some conservatives to jump on board, but apparently some viewers jumped off the ship, because their ratings are down. anyway, he's been invited by republican congressman vance mcallister of louisiana. your take on this. >> my take on it, it's nutty. it shows how the state of the union has sort of descended into a spectacle. you know, if we wanted spectacles, we'll watch the grammys. this is a serious event tonight. >> yeah. >> i hope people watch it. and ignore things like the "duck dynasty." >> i'm sure there will be plenty of video and pictures, though, despite that wish of yours, and perhaps mine of willie robertson. thank you so much. greatly appreciate it.
>> thank you. still ahead, the latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll shows chris christie has taken a big hit after the bridge-lane closure scandal that's rocked his administration. we'll show you the christie number coming up. eze... [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] you may be an allergy muddler. try zyrtec® for powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because it starts working faster on the first day you take it. zyrtec®. love the air. [ sneezes ] really? 25 grams of protein. what do we have? all four of us, together? 24. he's low fat too, and has five grams of sugars. i'll believe it when i -- [ both ] oooooh... what's shakin'? oops. [ female announcer ] as you get older, protein is an important part of staying active and strong. ensure high protein... 50% of your daily value of protein. low fat and five grams of sugars. see? he's a good egg. [ major nutrition ] ensure high protein. ensure. nutrition in charge! her long day of pick ups and drop offs begins with arthritis pain...
so, we've been asking you to go onto our website and post your responses to the state of the union is -- and here's what some of you had to say. some have said, sadly divided, and others have said unequal, polarized, evolving, and we invite you to post on our website. and our nbc news "first read" team notes when president obama delivers his state of the union address tonight, he'll be speaking to a pessimistic nation. that assessment is based on our new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll that shows when asked, 37% are using divided,
and 28% said troubled, and 21% said deteriorating and 3% said strong. joining me live senior political editor mark murray. how does the president face some of those words? sadly divided. that's a midterm decision for american voters if they want one party to control more. i mean, so how does he respond to that? >> i think he responds by trying to actually have a more uplifting message. as you mentioned, tamron, the big headline from our poll is just how pessimistic and downbeat the public is. in addition to some of the numbers that you've put out, other things show 63% of the country think that the nation is on the wrong track. you have 71% who are dissatisfied with the state of the economy. and so, you just see what president obama has to be able to confront. and boy actually say that there is a really big disconnect between these numbers and a lot of the numbers we've seen about improving economic conditions, improving consumer confidence,
the dow jones, as you mentioned in an earlier segment, that's up 2,000 points from at the beginning of the year. and so, there is all this pessimism in the country, but in the face of, what there is a pretty good narrative for politicians of both parties to start making a message of. >> and i think that's part of the reason, i think, when you hear a lot of analysts kind of michael smerconish, for example, obviously is perplexed by it, when you look at wall street and some of the negative reaction to where the country stands at this point. how does that compare, for example, to george bush, and i guess pessimism that he faced for different reasons, obviously? >> well, tamron, i'm glad you mentioned george w. bush. we went back to our poll and found this kind pessimism has existed over the last ten years, going back to 2004. of course, what happened in 2004, that was when the iraq war really started to take a turn for the worse. >> right. >> and so, you have the hangover of the iraq war, the hangover from the 2008 economic collapse. all of the partisanship we've
seen in washington over the last few years. your opinions of the president, either good or bad. your opinions of congress, good or bad, and you add them up together, and you get a sense where people think washington isn't working for them. and then you have the government shutdown, the terrible rollout of the health care law, and understand why people are downbeat at a time when things are, according to a lot of economic indicators, better than they were a year ago, and certainly four, five years ago. >> that's true. thank you, mark. we'll talk with you tomorrow our postscript, i guess, of the big speech. >> thank you. still ahead, we'll talk to a photographer behind a controversial new exhibit on nannies and race. as well as, income inequality. the exhibit is called substitutes, and the photographer said she's trying to explore social, racial, and economic relationships between nannies and children. some believe, though, that she's painting the relationship with a very broad and unfair stroke. we'll talk with her. ♪epic classical
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welcome back. an indictment against the north carolina police officer who killed jonathan ferrell tops our look at stories around the newsnation today. a second grand jury has indicted police officer randall kerrick for voluntary manslaughter. officer kerrick shot and killed the 24-year-old former florida a&m player last september. ferrell was reportedly looking for help after an accident. now, this indictment comes just a week after a separate grand jury declined to charge kerrick. and president obama's reacting to the death of folk legend pete seeger at the age of 94. seeger is known for such songs as "if i had a hammer" and "we shall overcome," which became an anthem for the civil rights movement. he was a dedicated peace act vi -- activist. he said, he believed in the power of the community to stabbed up for what's right,
speak out against what's wrong and move this country closer to the america he knew we could be, reminding us where we come from and showing us where we need to go. we'll always be grateful to pete seeger. a new photo exhibit in new york city has a lot of people talking. photographer ellen jacobs spent four years photographing dozens of nannies and the children they care for in her series called "substitutes." she says, quote, i live on manhattan's upper west side here. the women pushing the strollers are almost always black and the children white. i wondered why. my work explores the social, racial, and economic relationships that power from i affect life and largely go unnoticed. my images are about the things that seem natural but aren't. photographer ellen jacob joins me now. her exhibit is on display through february 1st. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> i saw the pictures. i'll be honest, on "huffington post," and i wanted to explore this more.
these images are about things that seem natural but aren't. what does that mean? >> well, i think that we expect certain things in life, and we expect our children to be taken care of by nannies, and we expect when we look at the strollers, when i was on the upper west side of manhattan, and i would look at strollers with white children, and i would look up and i would see people of color, we feel that that's natural. but is that really natural? is that where race is in america? is that really where we should be? and it really got me to think g thinking, most people don't talk about the fact that the nannies who take care of their children are people of color. and when i spoke with the nannies, and when i spoke with the moms, all of them said race didn't matter. but i started thinking, if race doesn't matter, why does this racial divide persist? >> but when you say something is not natural, the assumption then, you are saying, it is unnatural. and that could then be applicable to a black teacher that teaches a white kid, or
vice versa, or a black family who adopts an hispanic child or a white family who adopts a black kid. so to our eye, if there is love, than that would be natural, right? >> i agree with that. if there is love. and what i found is a lot of love in the pictures. and i think i'm speaking more of my photography as a whole, and when i say things aren't natu l natural, it's what we expect to be or what we think we'll be. but i believe that many people think that the woman pushing the strollers, the nannies, it's fine that we have this racial divide, that we have this economic divide, and that that's all well and good. and that that's the way things should be. and what i do as an artist and as a photographer is i raise the issue. and i wonder, is this really the way things should be? why don't i see black children being pushed by white nannies? and i've gotten some feedback on "huffington post" and i read the
comments where people say, i selected these women -- >> the answer for -- the reason you don't see black parents with white nannies is economics, because many of the people who are able to afford a nanny, economically speaking, since you so focused on new york city, would be affluent white, right? so then you have a mom who's taking their child to a day care, which is a more affordable way to find child care, a more middle-income, lower-income, so you're looking at that disspaert, doesn't that make sense? >> and you're raising the issue, why aren't there more black middle class families in new york on the upper west side of manhattan? >> right. >> putting their children, or upper middle class, having their children have nannies? why don't i see more of that? >> so you're looking at a broader economic question, as opposed to the dynamic of nanny and who they are caring for? >> yes. >> right. so the other issue i think a lot of people had when they saw this imagery is the assumption that these women are not happy in
their jobs as a caregiver. and you explore that, as well. did you have a chance to talk to many of these women and find out? >> i did. and the women actually do love the children they're with. and what's really interesting with about the comments is mainly people bring things to the photographs that aren't in there, and they bring their own experience. so i never say in the photos, i don't think say, that there isn't love there, and there is a lot of love. the nannies love the children as if they're their own, they often said. the children love the nannies. the parents love the nannies. everybody seems to really love each other. >> and you also explore, at least you want people who see this exhibit to also look at the -- what is or is not being paid to some of the nannies, and in some cases, there's no, obviously, health insurance, there's no pension, no long-term plan, there's no job security for some of these people who care for children of the affluent, and that they can be fired at any time. that is not the sole case. there are people who are fair.
but there are many others who are not. >> well, i think this is also part of the underground economy. >> hmm. >> and what's very interesting to me is we have our children, who are our most important resource, and yet we haven't come up as a society for a real li good way to kale for them while people are at work during the day. and that's really the issue here. so race and economics come into it, but that's the main issue. >> well, i really appreciate you joining us. it's a thought-provoking series, and it does bring up a lot of emotions and feelings when you see those pictures and a bigger conversation. thank you. >> thank you very much. ahead, a look ahead at how the office has aged president obama over the past six years. coming up, we'll talk to presidential historian douglas brinkley about the importance of tonight's speech for the obama legacy. [ female announcer ] crest presents: crest 3d white whitestrips vs. a whitening pen. i feel like my lips are going to, like, wash it off. these fit nicely. [ female announcer ] crest 3d white whitestrips keep the whitening ingredient in place, guaranteeing professional level results. crest whitestrips. the way to whiten.
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within the past hour as he prepares to deliver the state of the union address tonight. the president saying along the way it's a good thing the speech is inside. it's cold. he did not respond to a shouted question about the state of the union speech and the direction of it. we're joined now by presidential historian douglas brinkley. so the president noting it's cold outside, and it may be chillier with, as we know, members of congress, doug. but the bottom line, what are your expectations for the president as it relates to his legacy and if this is truly the last reset opportunity for him? >> i don't think it's the last reset, because you always have foreign affairs, and, you know, things happen when you're president that you don't expect. but this last time, he's going to be able to set an agenda. he's calling this the year of action, the time he starts using executive power more. presidential proclamations. today, he just did one for minimum wage for federal employees, as sort of an indicator that he means business this time. everybody knows 13 was a bad
year. he can't afford to have that that in '14, because if it's stagnant, it's in the doldrum, he doesn't push things through, the republicans can win back the senate, and the last two years will be absolutely miserable. >> and if the motto or the theme is the year of action, already in the comments we've heard from some republican leadership, their word is still opposition. >> well, of course. and i think we know that's the case. but president obama's got to channel franklin roosevelt and theodore roosevelt. they used executive power constantly. so what if the republicans don't like it? so what if it goes to the courts? many times, theodore roosevelt did things and it got challenged in courts years later after he was out of the white house. he's got to mean it. he's got to let people know that he's going to fight for a couple of key things, and it looks like it's the minimum wage for $10.10. >> yeah, that appears to be the case. politico had this age progression of the president
taken from prior state of the union addresses here. and, listen, we all age. none of us look like we did in 2009, but people try to get a glimpse of the impact the job has had on him through some of these photographs. as he looks back at this state of the union address, and you've written about him, and you know in great detail his thinking here, how do you believe this president is approaching this state of the union address? >> it's a good question. i mean, first off, he's in great physical shape. but i've been a little concerned about, say, his last five months, he seems to be a little woe is me, i have a lot of burdens on me, people don't realize how tough -- i'm not young, invincible anymore. i would change that. i think you have to go pure optimism, pure back to being invincible. you know, a long with being a great president is motivating people, and i think he has an opportunity tonight to at least get 2014 up and running in a proper way, filled with a lot of energy. he has to use this speech to get out there and lead the country.
>> doug, thank you so much for your time. it's always a pleasure to have you on. we'll hopefully talk with you soon. thanks a lot. >> thanks. >> tonight's state of the union is the focus, of course, or our "gut check." do you think the state of the union will push congress to be more productive? go to newsnation.msnbc.com to cast that vote. that does it for this edition of "newsnation." i'm tamron hall. we'll see you tomorrow with reaction to the president's state of the union address. "the cycle" is up next. yeah... try new alka seltzer fruit chews. they work fast on heartburn and taste awesome. these are good. told ya! i'm feeling better already. [ male announcer ] new alka seltzer fruits chews. enjoy the relief! ♪ [ male announcer ] new alka seltzer fruits chews. [ girl ] roses are red. violets are blue. splenda® is sweet. and so are you. [ female announcer ] just about anywhere you use sugar, you can use splenda® no calorie sweetener. ♪ splenda® lets you experience the joy of sugar
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>> what comes of this moment will be determined not whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow. [ applause ] >> yes, i thought i would have to wait until november to hear that music again. you are now in "the cycle," and tonight is the president's fifth state of the union address, and you know it's a big deal when we've got a countdown clock going. >> yeah. >> t-minus 6 hours until the pomp and circumstance in the house chamber, but this year, the president is addressing the nation amid some pretty terrible poll numbers. we spoke about the "washington post" poll yesterday. it is a pox on both of the houses. remember the dem and republican numbers are those against them. and now, the new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll shows it is just as bad. president's approval rating is underwater, plus stuck with a congress that is viewed even worse. the majority of americans think the nation is on the wrong track and is worse or stagnant under obama. they're also fed up with the state of our economy.